Twitter is changing to address a paradox about a service that revolves around messages limited to just 140 characters. As simple as it sounds, the concept remains too confusing and frustrating for a lot of people, the Associated Press reports. A redesign is supposed to make Twitter easier to navigate. It offers more accessible features that customize the experience for each user. The service is also expanding users’ profile pages to accommodate more detailed information about brands in text, photos and video as Twitter tries to convert more companies into advertisers. Twitter’s tweaks debuted in a Thursday update to its software for smartphones and tablet computers. The new look will be gradually rolled out on its website during the next few weeks……Read More
It’s been a good year for Twitter, and not merely because the company announced yesterday it has secured another huge round of funding, reports ReadWriteWeb. The microblogging platform has grown by over 100 million users this year and expanded its staff from 130 to 350 people. And it’s rolled out major redesigns and improvements to its site, mobile apps and APIs. People who created a Twitter profile before January 2009 now account for just 4.7% of the total Twitter population. That’s one of the findings in a new study by the social media analytics and monitoring service Sysomos that examines over 1 billion tweets from 2010 and compares the data with Twitter usage in 2009. So how has the influx of new users changed the ways in which Twitter is used? The results of the study suggest we may be disclosing more personal information in our profiles and following more people, but even as more people have joined, most Twitter activity still comes from a very small number of users. The number of Twitter users who provide personal information in their bios has more than doubled since last year; 82% of Twitter users now provide a name, compared with only 33% in 2009. And 73% provide location information, compared to 44% in 2009. Forty five percent give a website address, up from 22% a year ago. This seems to indicate that Twitter users are becoming more comfortable disclosing personal information on the site, but more importantly perhaps, that having a profile on Twitter is becoming increasingly important. Of course, one of the most popular two-word phrases in personal profiles is “Justin Bieber,” so I’m not sure we can argue that this is all about professional networking……Read More
Twitter use might be more than an extracurricular activity for college students, according to researchers from three universities whose work suggests that using the popular microblogging service to discuss academics could help bolster student engagement and success.
In an article published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Nov. 12, researchers unveiled findings from a midsized college campus that suggest students who communicated through Twitter during and after class had a GPA of about a half-point higher than students who didn’t use the social media site.
Students who used Twitter also scored higher on a student engagement exam administered at the college, which was unnamed in the article, titled “The Effect of Twitter on College Student Engagement and Grades.”…Read More